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Fidelity vs. TD Ameritrade

One is better for advanced traders, but a steep learning curve may drive new traders to its competitor.

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Fidelity and TD Ameritrade are well matched, with each platform equipped to serve both new and advanced traders. The right choice hinges on your experience level and how comfortable you are navigating complex trading software.

Which one is better?

  • Choose Fidelity if you’re an international trader or new to investing.
  • Choose TD Ameritrade if you’re an intermediate to advanced trader.

There are few trading platforms so well-rounded as Fidelity and TD Ameritrade. They both offer commission-free stocks, extended trading hours, 24-hour customer support, robust research tools, access to robo-advisors and one-on-one coaching from a financial planner to manage your portfolio.

Little separates these well-matched platforms, but its differences throw each platform’s ideal investor into sharp relief.

For active traders, the choice is TD Ameritrade, with access to futures and forex markets complimented by Thinkorswim’s trading platforms for web, desktop and mobile. It’s major drawback? It offers no direct access to international markets. That’s where Fidelity shines. While it’s missing a few tradable securities and its research software isn’t quite as extensive as TD’s, it has a more beginner-friendly platform and access to international stocks from 25 countries.

Overview

FidelityTD Ameritrade
Fees

★★★★★ 3.5/5

★★★★★ 3.8/5

Available securities

★★★★★ 4/5

★★★★★ 5/5

Customer support

★★★★★ 5/5

★★★★★ 5/5

Mobile app

★★★★★ 4.8/5

★★★★★ 4.6/5

Research and tools

★★★★★ 4.5/5

★★★★★ 5/5

Reliability

★★★★★ 3/5

★★★★★ 3/5

Bonus star

1

We awarded a bonus star for offering access to precious metals.

1

We awarded a bonus star for access to paper trading.

To learn how our star ratings are calculated, read the methodology at the bottom of the page.

How do Fidelity and TD Ameritrade compare?

FidelityTD Ameritrade
Fidelity logo
TD Ameritrade logo
Finder’s rating

★★★★★ 4.2/5

Fidelity Investments is a platform catering to new and active traders. Its range of trading services span wealth management services, access to international markets and actively-managed ETFs. While it lacks access to crypto, forex and futures, it has almost everything else a trader needs to get up and running, including a hybrid advisor service that combines automated portfolio management with one-on-one financial coaching.

★★★★★ 4.4/5

TD Ameritrade is an online brokerage service designed for beginner investors and active traders. It features user-friendly trading platforms and a variety of mutual funds. It may be best for new investors, frequent traders and advanced traders.

Stock trade fee$0$0
Option trade fee$0 + $0.65/contract$0 + $0.65/contract
or $25 Broker-assisted
Annual fee0%0%
Minimum deposit to open$25,000$0
Benefits
  • International trading. Fidelity investors have access to international stocks from 25 countries across 16 currencies.
  • Actively-managed ETFs. One of the platform’s more unique offerings, Fidelity’s actively-managed ETFs combine the tax-advantages of a passive ETF with the professional guidance of an actively managed fund.
  • Hybrid advising. Fidelity blends an automated robo-advisor service with one-on-one financial coaching with an advisor.
  • Paper trading. Investors can experiment with hypothetical money on a virtual market to test the viability of their trading strategies for going live.
  • Multiple trading platforms. TD Ameritrade offers an impressive lineup of five distinct trading platforms across web, desktop and mobile.
  • Available assets. Traders have access to a diverse lineup of seven tradable securities, including futures and the forex market.
Drawbacks
  • Limited securities. Despite its comprehensive offerings, Fidelity doesn’t offer access to futures, forex and crypto markets.
  • Mutual fund fees. Investors looking to trade mutual funds will encounter a $49.95 fee.
  • Account closures. Investors report having their Fidelity accounts blocked or closed without explanation.
  • Steep learning curve. Numerous complaints about the brokerage cite the platform’s steep learning curve.
  • Commissions. Investors must be wary of commissions on no-loan mutual funds and futures contracts.
  • No direct access to foreign stocks. Investors can trade some international stocks over-the-counter but unlike its competitor, TD Ameritrade doesn’t offer direct access to foreign markets.
Tools and research
  • Daily Dashboard. Review heatmaps, market news, earnings announcements and daily briefings from S&P Global.
  • Stock and ETF screeners. Browse over 6,000 stocks and ETFs by numerous filters and search criteria.
  • Equity summary score. Assess stocks with the Equity Summary Score by StarMine from Refinitiv.
  • Real-time analytics. Set personalized alerts to detect trading opportunities in real time.
  • Trade Armor. Analyze trade and risk strategies, profit and loss scenarios and entry or exit strategies with interactive charting technology.
  • Stock dashboard. Explore technical events from Recognia, review social media trends and access independent research reports.
  • Economic data. Monitor the US and global economies with over 400,000 data points from six continents.
  • Custom alerts. Set custom alerts from a prepopulated list of events.
  • Charting tools. Assess stock data with over 400 technical studies across 20 drawings, including eight Fibonacci tools.
  • Options statistics. Compare option volumes to previous five-day averages and review implied and historical volatility.
  • Strategy roller. Create covered call strategies that automatically roll forward monthly.
  • Market Marker Move (MMM). Track projected price movements by market volatility to better anticipate shifts within the market.
  • TradeWise. Access affiliate newsletters with recommendations from former Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) floor traders.
  • Market monitor. Wield interactive heat-mapping to track the market and tweak your portfolio.
Reputation and customer reviews
  • Reviews are: Mixed.
  • Customers praise: User-friendly platform and well-designed research tools.
  • Customers complain about: Account access blocked for verification purposes or accounts closed without explanation.
  • Reviews are: Mixed.
  • Customers praise: Free educational resources and robust charting software.
  • Customers complain about: Long wait times to speak with support reps.
Apple App Store reviews

★★★★★ 4.8/5

★★★★★ 4.5/5

Google Play Store reviews

★★★★★ 4.6/5

★★★★★ 3.2/5

Support
  • Phone. Call 800-972-2155.
  • Email. Fill out a secure online form on Fidelity’s website for a response from the team within 48 hours.
  • Live chat. Visit the Contact Us page on the Fidelity website to chat with the Virtual Assistant.
  • Phone. For new clients call 800-454-9272. For existing clients call 800-669-3900.
  • Live chat. Available 24/7 for active members.
  • Social Media. Send a message via Facebook Messenger or Twitter.
Learn more

Read our review

Read our review

Bottom line

Both of these trading platforms have plenty to offer, and the right choice for your investments depends on where you are in your trading journey. Professional traders may prefer TD Ameritrade’s advanced analytics, while newbies may be better off using Fidelity’s beginner-friendly interface. Explore your options across multiple platforms to find the account best suited to your needs.

Frequently asked questions

How we rate trading platforms

★★★★★ 5/5 — Excellent

★★★★★ 4/5 — Good

★★★★★ 3/5 — Average

★★★★★ 2/5 — Subpar

★★★★★ 1/5 — Poor

We analyze top online trading platforms and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include fees, securities available for trade, customer support, customer feedback, platform resources and overall reliability.

For a complete breakdown of how we score each category, read the full methodology of how we rate trading platforms.

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